The War on Data Science Talent!

Permanent, Contract, Artificial Intelligence...

As I'm sure you've heard by now, Data Scientist is the "sexiest job of the 21st century". Harvard Business Review

Even though many candidates with a strong mathematical, statistical and computer science background are looking to move into this space there is still a large shortage of talent experienced. When candidates who have experience are looking for a new opportunity, they move extremely fast.

With companies like Uber, Facebook, and Amazon in the fight for the top talent, the competition is fierce and if you aren't one of the major players you need to have a plan of action.

Your Data Science team is a crucial part of your business and attracting the right talent can make all the difference.


1. Have a plan.

Simply posting on a job board isn't enough anymore. You need to be proactive in how you go about finding your talent. Most of the candidates I work with are not actively looking. They are passive and would only make a move if the right opportunity was presented to them.

2. Work with a specialist.

Working with your HR team or a generalist recruiter, who works on all tech jobs, can't help you. You need to work with someone who can speak to candidates and sell them on the opportunity at your company. When a generalist calls a Data Science candidate, they almost immediately get frustrated because they are already receiving 7-10 solicitations a week! The opportunity could be exactly what they would be interested in, but if it's not communicated well they will immediately lose interest. Make sure you work with someone who understands the candidates.

3. Have a seamless interview process and eliminate inefficiencies.

Time kills your potential hire! The star candidate you are looking to hire more than likely has multiple interviews going on. Let’s not be naive, they are in high demand. To ensure hiring your candidate your team needs to be ready to interview and each member needs to know the weight and role they play in the process. Multiple times, I have worked with teams who were not ready. For example, I have seen hiring managers interview candidates up to 5 rounds for a 6-month contract position. When possible eliminate unnecessary steps without scarifying any due diligence. At the end of the day, the hiring process should move fast and candidates with skills you are looking for, move just as quick. Don’t lose your dream candidate to your competition.

4. Don't forget this is a 2-way street.

Once you know the candidate is right for the position, don’t forget to flip the switch and sell! When most of the candidates in this field are looking for their next endeavor, project or company to work for, they want to know they are entering a space where their skills are being utilized and pushed to higher elevations.  They want to know the next step they are taking is the right one for their career.

I hope these tips are helpful and will help you attract the best Data Science talent out there!

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